"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To Better Myself

To better myself, I'm following the lead of Cher Horowitz (from Clueless), who was actually based on Jane Austen's Emma. So I'll think of it as following Emma's example as I write up a list of some of the books I'd like to read this year, books that aren't YA lit so I can be a more rounded person. And to tackle some of the books that we own, that I've never read, that are finally accessible. I'm sure I'll add to and surpass this list, but it is my starting point.

  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald* 11/6/10
  • The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian 11/8/10
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway** 10/28/10
  • First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke
  • Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver***3/16/2010
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 4/7/10
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell****
  • Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger*****
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner******
*I need to read this again in order to read Chris Bojalian's The Double Bind. It seems like they are going to have a Jane Eyre to The Eyre Affair sort of book relationship and I haven't read it since my junior year of high school.
**Originally I picked The Old Man and the Sea, but after suggestions, I changed my mind. Jed went through a Hemingway phase in high school, so we own a ton of his books and stories. I've only read a few stories here and there for literature classes in college and thought I should tackle one of his books.
***I originally wrote
The Bean Trees, but I meant Animal Dreams. I read The Bean Trees a few years ago, and it is what convinced me to give Barbara Kingsolver another chance, because after The Poisonwood Bible, I might not have.
****I read this book in the fifth grade. And I've read the sequel. And I've seen the movie (I own it) several times. But the fifth grade was A LONG time ago, and I thought I might appreciate it differently now.
*****I read this book my junior year as well (American literature= junior year of high school) but with Salinger's death recently, I started wondering if I would appreciate this book more now that I'm older, and not so focused on how much bad language exists in it.
******Because I definitely need some nonfiction in my reading line-up, I've heard this book is good, and maybe it'll help me understand what Jed is studying.


Erin said...

awesome list!

Angela said...

I've read the Bean Trees. Its good.

Heather Payne said...

Can I butt in on the Hemmingway? I love the guy, but the Old Man and the Sea may not be his biggest page-turner. I might recommend A Moveable Feast (if you're interested in the famous Parisian ex-pats with whom Hem. ran around); or The Sun Also Rises. TSAR is one of my favorite books...ever. Love it. Quick read, but lots in there. Europe after the war. Unrequited love. Lots of fun page-turning stuff. Okay, if you still opt for the tome of the old man vs. the fish (w/obvious symbolism) then don't say I didn't warn you. :-)


I've read (or studied, which is different) some of this books and I must admit it is a very good list. I always read in search of myself... but often find other "me"s in books... the me I would like to be or the life I would like to live...I wish you may better yourself through them. I'm sure you'll have a great time reading them!

M. Gray said...

Hey!! Looks like my good friend Maria found your site! How fun!

I'm impressed with your list. Way to be more well rounded. I need to read some Hemmingway this year.

Aimee said...

Hey there, thought I would delurk for this one...I am on the edge of my seat to hear your "adult" take on Catcher in the Rye. I read it a few years ago and was very interested by my reaction. I'll check back. And thanks to your friend who gave the Hemingway recommendations...I have not yet learned to enjoy him, but I'm glad for some sincere recommendations besides The Old Man and the Sea. Love your blog!

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